North Park University Student Earns Fulbright Grant, Headed to Turkey

Bailey Schwartz
Bailey Schwartz C'12 learned this month she was a granted a Fulbright award and will be working as an English Teaching Assistant in Turkey.

Bailey Schwartz among 11 University Fulbright grantees in five years

CHICAGO (May 30, 2013) — When she was a student at North Park University, Bailey Schwartz took a class taught by Dr. Susan Rabe, professor of history, about the history of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th century to the end of World War I. That class struck a chord with Schwartz, who developed a strong interest in Turkish history, culture, and the historic city of Istanbul. With a grant she earned from the U.S. Fulbright Student Program, she will now explore the area firsthand as she lives and works in Turkey for nearly a year beginning this fall.

Schwartz learned this month that she was awarded a grant to work as an English Teaching Assistant in Turkey, the precise location yet to be determined. She joins two other University students who were earlier awarded Fulbright student grants earlier this spring. The program has awarded 11 of its prestigious grants to North Park University graduates in the past five years.

For Schwartz, getting a chance to live in Turkey is like reading the sequel to good book. "I'm excited about the prospect that I can actually go to this place, and walk the streets that we had talked about in class," she said. Schwartz, who grew up near Lake Geneva, Wis., transferred to North Park after one year at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse because she wanted to attend college in Chicago. She graduated from the University in December 2012 with a bachelor's degree in history. Schwartz also earned certification to teach secondary education and an endorsement for English as a Second Language. Her mother, Denise, lives in Colorado. She has a brother, Robert, who lives in Wisconsin, and a sister, Samantha, of Chicago.

Rabe, who was a reference for Schwartz's Fulbright application, said she was an exceptional, motivated student, and is a great Fulbright candidate. "In a 30-year teaching career, she is one of the best students I've ever had," Rabe said. "She stands out not just for her intellectual capacity, which is considerable, but because of her motivation, her discipline, and maturity. She's an incredibly mature young woman."

Turkey is an excellent place to study history and learn, Rabe said. "You see whole span of history from ancient to the present, and you see it in a place where there is a rich culture between continents. It's a country that is such mixture of identities in its own right. It's a fascinating study in humanity, a fascinating study in human history. And it's beautiful," she said.

Schwartz wants to return from her Fulbright experience next year and teach history in a Chicago public school, and later, possibly attend graduate school. The Fulbright program attracted her because she will gain some valuable teaching experience, share U.S. history and culture with Turkish students, and learn about their lives, she said. "I'm sure they have an idea of or an assumption of what it means to be an American," she said. "Any interaction I have with anyone there is going to form the basis of their opinion, and hopefully, I can help it be positive."

Two other North Park graduates were informed earlier this spring about their Fulbright student grants, which begin this fall. Sam Auger of Chicago will work as an English Teaching Assistant in a high school in Haskovo, Bulgaria. Timothy Ahlberg, Perrysburg, Ohio, was awarded a Binational Business Exchange Grant, and will work in a business in Mexico City.

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Next Steps

Learn more about the experiences of North Park's previous recipients of Fulbright grants.